WNBA Star Waiting To Shoot Hoops With Obama, But Balks At Trump

June 27, 2018 - 4:06 pm

Basketball legend Lisa Leslie -- a four-time Olympic gold medal winner and the first player to dunk in an WNBA game -- hasn't given up on shooting hoops with Barack Obama. As for Donald Trump, she has no interest.

When Leslie, who spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks, met the former president in 2009, he told her, "I would love to play you one-on-one one day," she said in an interview at the time.

Perhaps the duties of being commander in chief were more pressing, but the pair never did meet up on the court. (According to Politico, shortly after his inauguration, Obama had the tennis court net removed and a basketball hoop installed.)

"We never did play basketball," Leslie, 45, told 1010WINS' "The Trend with Rebecca Granet," but she adds, "I have been invited back to the White House on three different occasions and I really appreciated that from both President Obama and Michelle Obama."  

But would she be as jazzed to visit the current president?

"I would not go if I got an invite to the White House," Leslie tells Granet.

She adds, citing the lack of an invitation to the current WNBA champs, the Minnesota Lynx, "But it's all about the division, the separation of whether your focus is on the athletes and them trying to bring awareness to injustices or not inviting the women's champions because you don't really respect women. There are so many reasons why 45 does what he does. I dont like to really focus on him. I like to focus on the positive. The positive is that the Minnesota Lynx are the champions and they deserve their due."

Bottom line? "The invite to the White House is not what it used to be." 

Basketball aside, Leslie stars in the current comedy "Uncle Drew," starring Shaquille O'Neal, Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll. Leslie stars as Betty Lou, a sweet but fierce woman who's always ready to pray -- and play -- at all times. She's also the wife of Preacher, played by Chris Webber.

"The fire and motivation for Betty Lou is to keep Preacher staying focused on the Lord," Leslie says. "He needs to stay focused on the lord because when he gets that basketball in his hand he gets in a different world where sin is involved, possibly. So we won't to make sure he doesn't go back to the past, where, you know, woman get all, you know, it's just too much going on in the boom boom room."

The three-time WNBA MVP jokes that out of everyone from the cast, she'd want to challenge her on-screen husband to a game of 1-on-1.

"I could take Preacher. Preacher's knees hurt, his back hurt a little bit. I can block his shot too," Leslie jokes. "Ok, Chris I didn't say that for real, but you know. You couldn't keep up with me 1-on-1 full court Chris tell the truth."

Leslie adds, "The movie is really cute. I think that it initially is about Uncle Drew and you think about us that are younger and as we get older you never lose your love for the game. That's really what it's about but there's a lot of messages that are in there. I think that young kids can walk away with just about the understanding of the game and how you should also face some of your fears or being honest in life and really facing the truth."

"Uncle Drew" opens in theaters Friday.